Reds talented teenagers had to show their defensive qualities as they chiselled out another impressive pre-season win, this time overcoming the Wearside League outfit, Windscale, by the odd goal in three.
The game finally went ahead after three postponements with Windscale boasting an unbeaten record in their programme of friendlies. Reds were hoping for a return to winning ways after losing at Kirkoswald and being held at Bootle last time out.
Scott Paden-Gale marked his first start with a competent performance in goal, pulling off two excellent saves in the first half.
And while he was keeping Windscale at bay at one end, Reds squandered the few chances which came their way at the other.
But they did open the scoring before the break when a swift counter attack culminated in a penalty after Aidan Howard’s progress was checked inside the area.
Thomas Houghton confidently sent Ian Studholme the wrong way from the spot to give Reds a forty-second minute advantage.
Jack Burns was inches away from doubling the lead soon after the restart, when his shot narrowly cleared the bar, and the impressive Matty Foster also went close.
Windscale began a spell of domination but they lacked conviction in front of goal and would be left to rue three missed opportunities. Reds were living dangerously but they survived and their second goal, against the run of play, rewarded their resilience.
Foster broke clear through the Windscale defence and his low shot deceived substitute ‘keeper, Andrew Richardson, to provide some breathing space.
Windscale responded immediately, though, and an attack down the right saw them reduce the arrears thanks to a well taken Matt Metcalf goal.
There were no further alarms and Reds claimed a satisfying win against more experienced opposition.
Photo: Goal scorers Matty Foster & Tom Houghton
Team: Paden-Gale, Howarth, Hartley, Dear, Atkinson, Burns, Houghton, Bell, Foster, Webster, Lightfoot. Substitutes – Palmer, Lowrie, Hambling, Reed (all used).